The government agency responsible for ensuring veterans are cared for upon their return from war is the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. With the number of veterans in the country being so high, it is unsurprising that the financial outlay of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs was 159.22 billion U.S. dollars in 2015. That number is projected to increase to 208.18 billion in 2021.
Despite the vast share of resources allocated to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, a large number of veterans live under the poverty line. This phenomenon affects veterans of all ages but it is particularly rife among those aged 65 and older. Many veterans return having entered the military at a young age and therefore are sometimes without employable skills suited to the domestic economy. This is one barrier the government is trying to help veterans overcome. Interestingly, the average veteran earns more than the average non-veteran in the wider economy. The presence of poverty among veterans therefore warrants closer attention among policy makers as it is clear an economically stable future is possible for veterans.
Another potential barrier for veterans returning home and attempting to reintegrate into the workforce and society as a whole is the presence of health conditions. This barrier is not only for the veterans themselves but a barrier to a so-called normal life for those who care for veterans. The share of caregivers who live with the care recipient was 80 percent in 2010, compared with 23 percent for the wider population. Although physical disabilities as a result of injuries while at war are more obvious to the public, many veterans suffer from mental illness upon their return. Around two thirds of patients of the Veteran Health Administration were diagnosed with some form of mental health issue requiring treatment. .